Folk/Rock choices that are well recorded

Just wanting to hear from you smarties on your recommended best sounding, most fulfilling,folk/rock recording CD's. Simple as that.....thanks. Let's have fun. Dave.
IMO, you can't go wrong with Jack Johnson's "On and On". Good music and well recorded.
Probably not recorded as well as you'd like, but the Byrds were at the vanguard of the genre, they'd be essential for any folk rock collection. My favorite group from the 60s, even over the Beatles, Cream and Hendrix.
Bruce Cockburn, anyone?? "Humans" "Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws" and others very well recorded
For pure folk, there are:

1. Bill Staines' "The Journey Home" ... a covers album of 60's era classic folk
2. Joan Baez' "Any Day Now" ... a covers album of Dylan songs that has been recently remastered

For folk/rock

1. If you include Dylan in this category, the SACD hybrid versions of "Blood on the Tracks" and "Nashville Syline" would qualify.
2. The Grass Roots' "Where Were You When I Needed You," the original group headed up by P.F. Sloan ("Eve of Destruction" fame), before the name was used by the 60's pop group.
3. Crosby Stills Nash & Young "4 Way Street." I always owned a Japanese import CD and the sonics were pretty good. I do not how the US remastered version sounds.

There are others. As they come to mind ...

Regards, Rich
The Weavers- Return to Carnegie Hall
Greg Brown- Poet Game, and Slant 6 Mind
Joan Baez- Diamonds and Rust

To find out about a lot of great present day performers get the cds: Folk Scene Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3
As a fifteen year plus volunteer at a weekly coffeehouse in Dallas where we feature accoustic singer songwriters, I believe there are hundreds of unknown (to the general public) performers. They are mostly all on unknown labels and often on their own label. My cd collection is 98% this type of music. I find it strange that folks will spend 50, 75 or more to cram into a big areana to see some one perform andbe blasted by an accessively loud and poor sounding system, but they won't go pay 12 to see someone of equal talent in a small venue with excellent sound (ok I'm the sound guy, but there are many similar venues around the country). Check out our web site at and then go to past shows and/or past musicians to see a listing of performers who have played there. Most all hwve links to their web sites and usually you can get a sample of their music. Another site of note is cdbaby where many independent artists have their product.

Some of my favorites are Hans Theesink, Carrie Newcomer, Tom Russell, John Prine, Trout Fishing in America, Greg Brown, Brooks Williams, Chris Smither, and on and on. This coming Friday we're hosting Steve Young, who wrote Seven Bridges Road (the Eagles did pretty well with that song), Montgomery in the Rain, and my favorite Angel of Leon, which he co-wrote with Tom Russell.

Check out some new stuff and enjoy.

Richard Thompson has a number of great sounding albums. From the rock perspective Shoot out the Lights is highly regarded. From the folk perspective (perhaps a bit of a stretch) I think Rumor and Sigh is his best album.
a great website where you can get info on artists & hear a constant stream of assorted folk oriented music is


Tom Russell, the man from god knows where (recommended)
A well recorded and excellent album would be Hank Dogs 'Bareback'. Acoustic guitar and twin female vocals in the Fairport style.
Second would be the Cowboy's Junkies 'Trinity Sessions' - alot of audiophiles rave about this recording quality, music is PFG too.
I've been impressed with what I've heard on Red House Records. Check out anything by Hart-Rouge or Guy Davis.
CSN - the remastered versions of CSN & Deja Vu
Neil Young - Harvest, Harvest Moon, After the Gold Rush, Prairie Wind
Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde, either the Hybrid SACD or the remastered version
Cat Stevens - Remastered versions of Tea for the Tillerman and Mona Bone Jakon
I've been very impressed and somewhat surprised by the exceptional recording quality of the majority of the British folkies from the '60's and early '70's that I enjoy listening too. Try checking into recordings by Davy Graham, Wizz Jones (esp. 'Right Now'), Bert Jansch (and the group he performed in, Pentangle)and Mike Cooper, to name a few. Davy Graham is one of the most eclectic of the batch and a personal favorite...not to mention very nicely recorded.
My original Neil Young (self titled) Pioneer-Warner Brothers Japanese pressing has wonderful sound despite the surface scratches and I listen to it often.
Second some from Tom Russell. I'm not familiar with all his work but I have and really like "The Man From God Know's Where" and "Modern Art," very well recorded and good tunes, but "Hotwalker," while very interesting and a good listen, is more of a spoken word narrative that you would not listen to very often. Worth a listen but borrow a copy or buy it used.

John Prine's albums are usually very well recorded. The early stuff on vinyl is very good too.

David Grisman and Jerry Garcia put out a series of folk/blugrass/country/old time music albums that are very good.

We showed you ours now you show us yours Canuck.
Doc Watson. Let me repeat that, Doc Watson. Everything I have is on vinyl but some of the finest music ever recorded and some are very high fidelity. The finest flat picker on the planet and compelling vocals. Buy all that you can find.

Guy Clark is usually listed in the country section but I would call him a singer/songwriter in the folk tradition. A true genius with the pen and a great performer. Start with "Boats to Build" for great songs and sonics. His duets with Emmylou Harris are mesmerizing, most duets with her are. One of my favorite albums of all time.

Townes Van Zandt, maybe not show off your stereo fidelity but great, great music. The 4 CD set "Texas Troubador" has 8 of his albums and pretty much covers his best work.
Ones that I've been impressed with musically and sonically recently include:

Dave Alvin's Ashgrove and his earlier Blackjack David

Katy Moffat's Angel Town and Loose Diamond CDs

Gillian Welch's Soul Journey

Lucinda Williams new Live @ The Fillmore is very good for a live recording

And, I agree, Tom Russell's recent CDs are excellent.
One that is old but an excellent recording - not to mention great music - is Peter, Paul and Mary. Their self-titled first album is one of the better recorded I have and the CD is first rate too!
Here is another vote for Tom Russell. When I describe his style to others I tell them to think "Harry Chapin with a Southwest motif". My nomination for his best sound and overall performance would be "Borderland". In fact, I burned a compilation of Borderland and Modern Art (four tracks)and gave it to my local hi-end dealer. They were so blown away they now use it to demo their showcase system (Wilson Grand Slams, VTL Siegfried mono blocks, and of course, a dcs stack).
You might take a look at Nickel Creek- some of it freaks me out with its "fusion-ness" but some is really great.
I have a couple of Original pressings by Gordon Lightfoot that sound really good(Sundown,If you could read my mind). Also Jim Croce's Greatest Hits a DCC 180 gram re-master sounds superb.My original pressings of The Band hold up pretty good these days except the brown album "The Band" because I played it to death.
America - their first and self-titled album. Amazing acoustic guitar, songs, recording . . .

This is one I recently re-discovered. I had it in college (I recall it came out the same time as Neil Young's "Harvest". I recently picked it up on vinyl and it's been on my table a lot.
If you can find original pressings of the first 3 Peter, Paul, and Mary albums on Warner Brothers with the gold label (later pressings are green) you'll be amazed at the clarity and dynamics. I'm not saying I'm that old but I've been told this is true. :-)

The second (Turn, Turn, Turn) and fourth (Younger Than Yesterday) Byrds albums can also be very very good.
The new Sun Kil Moon album, "Tiny Cities". It's all folk-like covers of Modest Mouse songs, and the production is stellar.
You can't go wrong with THE BAND. Capitol has just re done the catalog on CD 24 bit and they sound great or Simply Vinyl has "Music from Big Pink" and "The Band" (the brown album) which is my favorite by them.
Billy Pilgrim: Billy Pilgrim
David Wilcox: How Did You find Me Here?
Indigo Girls: Indigo Girls (Gold CD)
R.E.M: Murmur (200gr MFSL) ..... yummy!
for bobbi by chad Mitchell trio
"Down the Way" by Angus and Julia Stone.

Not only a superb recording but also a pure musical journey...
I nominate Joni Mitchell's Blue I think the recording and SQ of this release is excellent
John Prine's debut is filled with some great songs.
Rickie Lee Jones: self-titled, Pop Pop, It's Like This, Flying Cowboys all great
Paul Simon - Graceland
Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
Janis Ian - Breaking Silence
Greg Brown - The Poet Game

I would have to nominate David Crosby's- if I could only remember my name.
Grateful Dead American Beauty
cashman and west--a song or two--excellent recording, good lyrics and harmony
buckingham and nicks--self title album--would have been interesting if they never joined fleetwood mac
dan fogleberg--homefree
"Me & Bobby McGee" by Gordon Lightfoot is very well recorded.
Soundtrack to Inside Llewyn Davis is great. IMO
Canucks: After all of the responses you received, I'm surprised you haven't felt a need to respond? I'd like to read some of your favorites! This is or should be as give and take effort.

I'll give a few:

(1) John Moreland "In The Throes"
(2) Peter Case "Bee Line", "The Man With The Blue..."
(3) The Be Good Tanyas, "Blue Train"
(4) Bill Callahan "Dream River", "Apocalypse"
(5) Richard Thompson "Pour Down Like Silver"!!!
(6) John Wesley Harding "New Deal"
(7) Tift Merritt "Traveling Alone"
(8) Pieta Brown "One And All"

I'm with Rcprince in the Byrds being a favorite. I bought some super-deal 5 CD set of their top albums on Amazon, but the sound quality really sucked. Are there any good remasters of Byrds albums?

If you like those harmonies and format,the Roches (three sisters) are spectacular, but occasionally quirky. They have that harmonic blend that only siblings like the Everly Brothers or the Andrew Sisters had, and are Greenwich Village urban folk (literally and aurally.) Either Moonswept or "The Roches" are good intros.
I'd look for Pentangle and Fairport Convention albums. SQ is variable, but the songwriting and playing (Bert Jansch and John Renbourn in Pentangle, Richard Thompson in Fairport) make any and all of these albums essential guitar folk IMO.
I hadn't thought of The Everly Brothers as Folk-Rock, but their 50's and 60's recordings feature great sound. I have the British Ace label reissue and collection LP's, which sound better than the Rhino LP's. Great, great music. They had the best songwriters and studio musicians of the time, and greatly influenced Lennon & McCartney, whose vocal harmonies were merely exact copies of the Brothers'.
The Church: Blurred Crusade.
Can't vouch for CD versions of these as I only have them on vinyl. But if the sound quality on vinyl is any indication, one of my all-time favorites is Phoebe Snow's self titled album. Recorded and produced by the great Phil Ramone, I love this record when I am in the mood for this sort of thing. Two others that I am surprised haven't been mentioned are Cat Stevens "Tea For The Tillerman" and Tracy Chapman's debut album; both were often cited for good sound qualityp and are considered musical classics. Lastly, if you're going to go down the "folk music/good sound" road, as an audiophile, on principle alone and for better or worse, you should have The Weavers "At Carnegie Hall". I think I'm showing my age 😊

Slaw, I agree with you; it's always a little frustrating when the OP disappears. That's why I am sure you will follow up in your "song structure" thread 😉
I concur w/ the panel;
Tracy Chapman, John Prine, Jack Jackson, Amos Lee,
Bob Dylan are great recordings for openers.

Keep me posted & Happy Listening!
Although I'd characterize the sound as ok rather than especially good, I'll nevertheless mention The New Christy Minstrels "Greatest Hits" CD. Very likable music, IMO, including their best known hits from the 1960's such as "Today" and "Green, Green."

Regarding the comments about lack of follow-up by the OP, I'm not sure that everyone has noticed that his post was from 2005.

-- Al
Picaresque by The Decemberists is an excellent recording and work  with many folk elements.   Recorded in a church somewhere I believe.